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Sex Addiction on the Big Screen

It’s hard to think of a movie that doesn’t revolve around romance or sexual attraction. We are used to seeing both women and men over-sexualized in the media. But, do the same advertisements, TV shows and movies address the very real problem of sex addiction in our society?

We are starting to see a shift in that direction.

In light of Nymphomaniac’s upcoming theatrical release, we rounded up a few of the best movies about sex addiction.


Lars von Trier’s controversial film hits theaters Friday, March 21; but be warned, this artistic portrayal of sex addiction won’t appeal to everyone. This is no Fifty Shades of Grey fantasy. Nymphomaniac is the bold tale of a young woman, Joe, who is a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac. But how did she get this way? The two-part film explores Joe’s erotic adolescence, as she recounts her often-violent misadventures to an older man. The director’s intention is to portray the brutal reality of the life of a female sex addict. Charlotte Gainsbourg is Joe; Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman and Christian Slater are also in the film.

Thanks for Sharing

Sex addiction is a complex disorder driven by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Sex and love addictions affect people in different ways, as illustrated in Thanks for Sharing, a 2012 film that follows three men dealing with intimacy issues. Mark Ruffalo plays Adam, a sex addict with five years ‘sober’ trying to make a new relationship work with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, Phoebe. It’s a feel-good comedy that humanizes the struggle of sex addiction.

Don Jon

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directing debut gives us a graphic glimpse into the life of a sex addict. The Don Jon character can be described as a New Jersey womanizer, but behind closed doors, he is also addicted to pornography. When he meets a ‘perfect 10’ Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson, his willpower to quit porn is put to the ultimate test. The 2013 flashy film also digs deep, exploring issues of intimacy, love and satisfaction.


Michael Fassbender takes us on a gritty ride through his character Brandon’s sex-driven life in New York. The 2011 Steve McQueen-directed film spares few explicit sexual scenes, including a prostitute three-way, and it succeeds in painting the portrait of a man who cannot connect with people unless through detached sexual acts. Brandon’s life spirals out of control as he chases the sexual release anywhere he can get it, from gay bars to whore houses.


Chuck Palahniuk’s 2001 novel Choke was adapted for the big screen in 2008. The dark comedy, from the author of Fight Club, is the story of Victor Mancini, part time colonial theme park worker, part time con artist, and full time sex addict. When he’s not preying on vulnerable women at sexual addiction support group meetings, Mancini pretends to choke at restaurants in order to con money from the kind people who think they’re saving his life.

If unhealthy sexual behavior is affecting your life, consider looking into sex addiction treatment at one of these sex addiction rehab centers.